‘He understands the issues faced by young people in agriculture’ – Norfolk farmer meets Prince Charles at Prince’s Countryside Fund Forum

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve spoke to guests including The Prince of Wales at a rural summit in Westmi

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve spoke to guests including The Prince of Wales at a rural summit in Westminster convened by the Princes Countryside Fund. Picture: Mark Lord Photography - Credit: Mark Lord

A Norfolk cattle farmer told the Prince of Wales of her passion for livestock during an inspirational talk at a rural summit in London.

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve spoke to guests including The Prince of Wales at a rural summit in Westmi

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve spoke to guests including The Prince of Wales at a rural summit in Westminster convened by the Prince’s Countryside Fund. Picture: Mark Lord Photography - Credit: Mark Lord

Helen Reeve, who runs a Dexter beef herd at Alburgh, near Harleston, spoke to guests including Prince Charles and industry professionals at a forum in Westminster convened by the Prince's Countryside Fund (PCF), which was founded to improve the prospects of family farm businesses.

Miss Reeve was invited to speak at the event as one of five winners of the PCF's Land Rover Bursary earlier this year.

As well as rearing a herd of 50 pedigree animals for her own business, Waveney Dexter Beef, she also works as an agricultural assessor and lecturer for apprentices at Easton and Otley College after 18 years of milking cows at a dairy unit.

She said: 'Meeting Prince Charles was a really great experience as he understands the issues faced by young people starting up in agriculture. I couldn't believe it when he mentioned in his speech about helping characters who love cows – which I'm guessing was aimed at me.

Norfolk Farmer Helen Reeve won a business bursary from the Prince's Countryside Fund in 2016. Her aw

Norfolk Farmer Helen Reeve won a business bursary from the Prince's Countryside Fund in 2016. Her award includes a year's loan of a Land Rover Discovery. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016


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'The forum was a great way to meet like-minded people and organisations who have benefitted from the fund.

'After realising that farming wasn't a fad when I was younger, my mum and dad bought me a pedigree Dexter heifer and many years later, I now have a herd of 50 which produce Waveney Dexter Beef which is traditionally grass-reared herd in the heart of the Waveney valley. The Prince's Countryside Fund's Land Rover Bursary has given me a great boost this year and I can honestly say that without the support and guidance I have received from family, friends, Young Farmers network and the bursary, then I wouldn't be the person I am today.'

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The forum brought together rural campaigners, community groups, not-for-profit organisations and education providers to discuss ways to tackle challenges in the countryside.

Key issues discussed during the opening debate included the importance of providing training and opportunities for young people to get into agricultural careers, as well as 'creating stronger partnerships for social innovation'. Guests also heard how grants of more than £7m from the Prince's Countryside Fund has helped to improve the long-term viability of rural communities.

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve with her Dexter cattle.

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve with her Dexter cattle. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Lord Curry, chairman of The Prince's Countryside Fund, said: 'The next five years are critical for our rural communities. Against a background of growing uncertainty, today showed what passion and commitment people have in wanting to secure a better future for the British countryside.'

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